Matt Vespa - Stronger Together: Here Is The Agenda Hillary Clinton Has For America
Posted: 7/28/2016 9:25:00 PM EST

Hillary Clinton will be accepting the Democratic nomination tonight. In her remark, her agenda centers on creating more job opportunities, raising stagnant wages, and reaching out to every corner of the country—from the cities to the rural 15 MPH small towns—in order to accomplish that economic goal.

She also pledges to be strong on national security, offering a strong leadership on the issue of tackling our “determined enemies,” which is obviously ISIS but they're not mentioned by name. In all, the speech centers on what Democrats have been saying throughout this convention, which is that America’s best days are ahead, don’t be pessimistic like the Republicans, and that we’re stronger together. Also, let’s come together to make sure the Clinton vision of America is a success.

Again, it would be more reassuring if Clinton could name out determined enemy by name, along with the radical ideology they follow. Moreover, given her unsanctioned and unsecure private email server that left our secrets vulnerable—not so sure you’re to be trusted on that front either. In fact, the vast majority of American voters don’t trust you. So, let’s see if Clinton pushes back against that narrative, along with Trump’s definition of her as “Crooked Hillary.” We shall see shortly.

Cortney O'Brien - Despicable: Black Lives Matter Interrupts Moment of Silence for Fallen Officers at DNC
Posted: 7/28/2016 9:20:00 PM EST

Dallas Sheriff Lupe Valdez spoke at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night to offer some remarks about the strained relationship between police and civilians. While she acknowledged the police have been guilty of using excessive force, even against her own family, she decided to become an officer herself and promised that she and her team put on their badges every day to "serve and protect, not to hate and discriminate." She also offered a beautiful story about how four separate tables in a restaurant in which she was dining offered to pay for her bill, proving her community respected her service. 

Following her remarks, she asked the audience to join her in a moment of silence for the fallen officers in Dallas, in and countless other cities that have faced similar tragedies. Her request was respected - until shouts of "Black Lives Matter" interrupted the touching moment.

Disrespectful - and despicable.

Black Lives Matter activists have the right to protest against what they believe is police brutality - but during a moment of silence for murdered officers and the devastated families they've left behind? Unthinkable.

The DNC's "Stronger Together" theme is unfortunately out of reach at this point. This country needs some serious healing.

Cortney O'Brien - Former Reagan Staffer To Trump: You're No Reagan
Posted: 7/28/2016 9:00:00 PM EST

"This year I will vote for a Democrat for the first time," said Doug Elmets, a former aide to President Ronald Reagan at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night.

“I know Ronald Reagan," he explained. "I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.”

This year's Republican platform and chosen nominee, Elmets continued, is too extreme for his liking. As a result, he's voting Democrat for the first time in his life.

"Loyalty to our country is more important than loyalty to our party," he concluded.

The Republican National Committee was prepared for Elmets' remarks, highlighting the fact that he has donated to Democrats for years and is no Republican.

Matt Vespa - Sanders Supporters To Reid: Wait–You Didn’t Speak Up When You Thought The DNC Was Rigging The Game Against Us
Posted: 7/28/2016 8:05:00 PM EST

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he thought that the Democratic National Committee didn’t give Sen. Bernie Sanders a fair shake at the Democratic nomination, which we all knew, and that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was right to step down once Wikileaks released emails showing staffers scheming ways behind the scenes to derail the self-described Democratic socialist’s presidential ambitions. Now, Sanders supporters are saying what the heck, why didn’t you say this sooner at the party’s convention in Philadelphia (via The Hill):

The retiring Democratic leader faced multiple questions about Sanders, the party as a whole and progressive flash points over a roughly half-hour question-and-answer session at a state delegate meeting.

[…]

He was immediately questioned by a delegate who asked why Reid didn't "speak up earlier for Bernie Sanders" after saying this week that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hadn't been "fair" with him.

"I've been in touch with Bernie Sanders through the whole campaign. We talk on a regular basis," he said. "I don't have to apologize to anybody for my relationship with Bernie Sanders."

Reid has repeatedly refrained from criticizing Sanders for refusing to drop out of the Democratic primary and sharply told reporters to "lay off" him amid criticism in late May.

[…]

In a contentious moment, a Sanders backer — who described himself and other supporters as "victims" — asked to know Reid's stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) amid groans and murmurs of "no" from other delegates.

So, as you can see, all is not well in Democrat land. There are also allegations that the DNC is busing in people to fill the empty seats in the convention hall to give the veneer of party unity. It’s quite possible that 30 percent of the Sanders coalition could go third party in November, which only helps Donald Trump. Clinton’s task in unifying her party is something to watch from this night forward. 

Also, look out for the Sanders delegates tonight––they'll be wearing the neon green t-shirts.

Cortney O'Brien - Schultz Claims She's 'Taking One for the Team' With Resignation
Posted: 7/28/2016 8:00:00 PM EST

Outgoing Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claims she is taking one for the team in offering her resignation. Under her leadership, the DNC behaved belligerently toward the Bernie Sanders campaign, as exposed in the recent Wikileaks email dump. Can Schultz really say she's sacrificing herself on behalf of the team when she's the coach? 

Yes, according to what she told the National Jewish Democratic Council on Thursday.

"It has been a remarkable team effort, and you know sometimes you just have to take one for the team, and that's OK, it's OK," she said with a smile.

Schultz's bias toward a Hillary Clinton nomination was clear from the beginning of the primary process. Instead of providing Clinton's challengers ample opportunity to speak to the American people, Schultz scheduled only six debates. The email leaks only further confirmed Sanders' supporters suspicions. On the first two days of the convention, it was obvious how it affected his progressive fans, who booed Schultz off the podium multiple times and heckled any and every speaker who dared say they vote for Hillary Clinton.

As you can see, the DNC leaks scandal is still causing a stir at the convention.

When Schultz steps down following the DNC's conclusion Thursday night, the Sanders voters she left out in the cold can trade boos for cheers.

Guy Benson - Uh Oh: Trump Bounce Already Gone -- Or Not?
Posted: 7/28/2016 5:30:00 PM EST

It's time to play Pick Your Poll. If you're rooting for Trump, there's evidence that his undeniable public opinion boost coming out of Cleveland is still alive and well. Take, for example, the Los Angeles Times/USC tracker, which shows him expanding his lead to seven points nationally.  The trend lines are self explanatory:

That was yesterday.  Today, his lead has inched up to nearly seven-and-a-half points. Even more encouraging for Team Trump is the Reuters/Ipsos data from yesterday. Sure, both candidates are in the high 30's with Trump two points ahead (a statistical tie), which may not sound especially promising.  Here's the context that makes the new results such good news for his campaign:

Mid-June: Clinton +10

Early July: Clinton +11

Mid-July: Clinton +4

Late July: Trump +2

Quite a trajectory -- and all the more eyebrow-raising considering how unkind this particular series has been to Trump all cycle.  Part of what's at play here is that the Republican National Convention, for all of its upheaval and snafus, relentlessly and successfully reminded American voters of why Hillary Clinton has richly earned her unfavorable and distrusted reputation.  I mentioned these pre-DNC numbers from Gallup last night, but they're worth revisiting to fortify my point:

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton now have identical favorability ratings, according to a new Gallup poll, and the average American does not look fondly upon either one of them. The new poll, conducted July 18-25, found 37 percent of Americans have favorable ratings of the two nominees, while 58 percent have unfavorable ratings. This is the first time Clinton’s favorable rating was not higher than Trump’s...Gallup also found the net impact of the GOP convention was negative, with 51 percent of Americans saying the convention made them less likely to vote for Trump and 36 percent saying they were more like to vote for him.

Hillary is less popular than ever in this poll, which helps explain Trump's surge...but the same survey found a slim majority of respondents saying that his Cleveland convention made them less likely to vote for him in November.  Which brings us to the other side of today's polling coin.  Rasmussen, which has been the pro-Trump outlier series in 2016 (the opposite of Reuters in that respect) has a new survey with Clinton ahead by a point.  That's down from a seven-point Trump advantage two weeks ago.  Hmm.  In fairness, given the amount of polling noise out there, it's tough to separate outliers from trends.  For instance, is this new data point out of Pennsylvania a huge red flag for Trump, or an anomaly?

If that's even close to accurate, this election is effectively over. Trump must be competitive in the Keystone state, and probably carry it, to win. His (highly debatable) theory of the race is that he'll flip enough blue collar, working class white people in rust belt states to pull off a victory. Pennsylvania, so often the GOP's presidential year white whale, is basically serving as a petri dish for that proposition. Statewide polling throughout June showed a competitive race, with Hillary very slightly ahead. But this is now the second consecutive poll showing hear advantage pushing double digits. A third survey with similar results would mark a very serious problem for the Trump campaign. We shall see.

Joe Pappalardo - Why Is Michigan Getting The Most Syrian Refugees?
Posted: 7/28/2016 5:30:00 PM EST

Michigan is receiving more refugees from Syria than any other state in the U.S. according to State Department records.

More Syrian refugees came into the U.S. on Wednesday than any single day since June 6. The State Department admitted 268 people, breaking its previous record of 253.

The top five states to receive refugees were Michigan (42), California (35), Texas (33), Arizona (27), and Pennsylvania (26). These states have also received the most refugees since October. Michigan's total reached 831 Thursday morning, while the other four had 698, 581, 534, and 460.

According to U.S. census population estimates for 2015, California and Texas have the largest populations in America, while Pennsylvania is sixth, Michigan is 10th, and Arizona is 14th. Despite these statistics, Michigan has become the primary territory for the Syrian refugee resettlement effort.

These states have some of the biggest cities in America, but the three Michigan cities which took in the most had higher refugee numbers than every city in Pennsylvania and Texas. Troy (220) gained 18 refugees Wednesday, Dearborn (189) took in 14, and Clinton Township stayed at 191. The only cities to shelter more Syrian refugees were San Diego (360) and Glendale, Arizona (288).

San Diego, Glendale, and Troy take in refugees from many countries, according to Refugee Processing Center. Clinton Township is part of Macomb County, Michigan, one of the top refugee resettlement areas in the state. Dearborn, however, is not a common destination for all refugees seeking resettlement.

According to a Time article from September, at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, Michigan was not originally the biggest refugee state. At the time, Texas and California led the effort while Michigan was third. Only 1,584 refugees had entered the U.S. since the Syrian Civil War began in March 2011.

The article explained how Dearborn might receive more Syrian immigrants:

Some areas already have communities with a long-established Middle Eastern presence. Dearborn, Mich., for example, has a large Arab-American population that stretches back to the late 19th century, and the state has continued taking in refugees from war-torn Arab countries over the last decade.

The numbers in this report reflect Thursday morning totals. As of Thursday afternoon, the RPC's records were updated to show 210 more refugees arrived Thursday, bringing the fiscal year total to 7,491.

Christine Rousselle - Mayor of Rochester, NY "Thanks" Susan B. Anthony For Paving The Way on Women's Suffrage
Posted: 7/28/2016 5:30:00 PM EST

Suffragette Susan B. Anthony is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, New York. I've written before about the sweet tribute female voters leave on her headstone on Election Day. Now, with Hillary Clinton as the first female nominee for president from a major party, another tribute has appeared at her gravesite: a letter from Lovely Warren, the first female mayor of Rochester. The letter thanks Anthony for helping to pave the way for increased female participation in politics. Visitors to the gravesite were given the chance to sign their names in thanks as well.

Warren also points out that less than 150 years after Anthony was arrested for voting, America could very well have a female president.

Regardless of a person's thoughts on Clinton, this is still a very nice tribute for an early pioneer in women's rights.

Matt Vespa - Pile On: Reid, Booker Follow McCaskill’s Lead On Trump’s Remarks About Russia
Posted: 7/28/2016 5:15:00 PM EST

Piggybacking off what Cortney wrote about Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said about Trump’s remarks about enticing Russia to dig up Clinton’s deleted emails. It certainly got under the skin of top Democrats including Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Harry Reid (D-NV) saying they’re either looking into what they can do to respond to these remarks or agreeing with McCaskill that Trump may have violated the Logan Act (via the Hill):

"I'm already in conversations about this. I want to assess what the options are," Booker said in an interview on Thursday on Joe Madison's "The Black Eagle" show on SiriusXM.

"So I want to find out what the appropriate actions will be. ... I’m looking forward to sort of getting into more of the details and understanding the full nature of what he was saying, as well as what the implications are and what my options are in office."

The relationship ship between Booker and the Trump family is sort of odd, as Ivanka held a fundraiser for the former’s 2013 senate race. Now, we have Trump attacking Booker over his speech to the Democratic Convention, where he tore into the Republican nominee. Trump responded by saying that Booker has no future in the Democratic Party, while Booker responded by saying that he loves Donald and will pray for him. All of this whiles the New Jersey senator also called him anti-American prior to the DNC.

After McCaskill and Booker, comes outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who was quoted by The Hill, “I had a number of people come up to me yesterday about the Logan Act. He may have done that. He may have violated the law…his business records skirted the law for a long, long time."

Now, we all know that Trump’s remarks were made I jest, or at least that’s what he’s now telling the press. Obama’s intelligence chief, James Clapper, said Americans should stop going nuts over the DNC hack, and blaming the Russians for it. These things happen—and it’s the new reality we live in, where people engages in hacking (via Washington Examiner):

Americans need to calm down and stop blaming Russia for hacking the Democratic National Committee, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday.

"I'm somewhat taken aback by the hyperventilation on this," Clapper said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado. "I'm shocked someone did some hacking," he added sarcastically. "That's never happened before."

Russia also responded by saying this in an in-house matter, and that Russia doesn’t involve itself in the internal affairs of other nations. They also called the allegations lobbed against them by Democrats that they were behind the hack as “total stupidity” (via Reuters):

Russia told the United States on Thursday to get to the bottom of a hacking scandal involving Democratic Party emails itself and rejected what Donald Trump said was a sarcastic suggestion that Moscow should dig up Hillary Clinton's "missing" emails.

[…]

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said accusations of a Russian hand in hacking Democratic Party emails bordered on "total stupidity" and were motivated by anti-Russian sentiment. He rejected Trump's apparently sarcastic suggestion for Russia to dig up Clinton's emails point-blank.

"As regards these (email) batches, that is not our headache. We never poke our noses into others' affairs and we really don't like it when people try to poke their nose into ours," he said.

"The Americans needs to get to the bottom of what these emails are themselves and find out what it's all about."

Cortney O'Brien - Hillary to Give First Interview As Democratic Nominee to Fox News Sunday
Posted: 7/28/2016 5:00:00 PM EST

"Fox News Sunday" has been working with the Hillary Clinton campaign for months to try and set up a sit-down interview between her and host Chris Wallace.

Well, the details have finally been nailed down – and it couldn’t be at a more important time. This Sunday, Fox News will air Wallace's meeting with Clinton, making it her first interview since officially becoming the Democratic nominee.

Clinton last appeared on Fox News five years ago, although she did participate in a democratic town hall with Special Report’s Bret Baier in March and, more recently, spoke with "O'Reilly Factor" host Bill O'Reilly via phone to discuss the horrifying terror attack in Nice, France.

As Shepard Smith noted on Wednesday, Clinton’s accepting the "Fox News Sunday interview" indicates she wants to appeal to moderate voters.

Clinton's interview with Wallace will air on “Fox News Sunday” on Sunday morning and on Fox News at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

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